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Skullcrack City

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,309 ratings  ·  177 reviews
Life as a corporate drone was killing S.P. Doyle, so he decided to bring down the whole corrupt system from the inside. But after discovering something monstrous in the bank's files, he was framed for murder and trapped inside a conspiracy beyond reason.

Now Doyle's doing his best to survive against a nightmare cabal of crooked conglomerates, DNA-doped mutants, drug-addled
Paperback, 344 pages
Published February 1st 2015 by Lazy Fascist Press
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,309 ratings  ·  177 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, bizarro
Corporate slave S.P. Doyle, whose best friends are his pet turtle and his Hex addiction, sees conspiracies everywhere linking his bank to some unspeakable evil. When he's framed for murder, his conspiracies don't seem so far fetched anymore...

First off, I really hate elevator pitches but this is Office Space meets Breaking Bad meets Cthulhu.

I've lost some of my bizarro sensitivity over the years but this one was pretty strange. Doyle takes the mind-warping drug Hex and soon finds himself involv
Sadie Hartmann
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This morning I was in bed staring at the ceiling until I felt my eyes glaze over; my brain a flurry of activity: How in the hell do you write a review for a book like this?
I buddy read this with my best friend, Mindi (which means we just acknowledge we'll read a specific book around the same time. Haha! She devoured this one & I went meticulous with it). Mindi offered to write her review first so I could see where she went with it and now that I've read her review and a few others from some peop
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Earlier this year my friend Sadie read Entropy in Bloom due to a recommendation from our other friend Emily, but also because the cover spoke to her. Sadie has taught me to really appreciate covers, and that one is fantastic. Once she finished she told me I absolutely needed to read it, and of course she was right. Thus, a new favorite author was added to our lists. Suddenly, we needed all of his published works, like yesterday. So we both bought Skullcrack City and planned a buddy read.

I'm abso
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-list-2018
A fun futuristic action romp that takes you through one outrageous set piece after another. A sort of Island Of Dr Moreau meets The Matrix as written by William Gibson, only much much cooler! I could not possibly begin to explain all the different elements that make up this novel-so many gonzo ideas that should never come together and work as a whole, yet Johnson somehow make it all work, and work brilliantly. So many genres represented here, from science fiction to horror, to cyberpunk. There’s ...more
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Skullcrack City is a four-course meal of a novel. Rife with humor, horror, action, and an imagination so unrivaled, I’m surprised my brain didn’t turn to liquid and leak out my ears.

Seamlessly stitched together from a bunch of disparate genres, this is a Frankenstein’s monster of a book that doesn’t hesitate to attack the villagers from every angle. Bizarro, crime, horror, humor: the writing employs several different genre-narrative techniques at once that somehow gel into a cohesive whole.

Now t
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was loaned to me with really high praise, and unlike usual when a book is loaned to me with really high praise, I was freakin' pumped and ready to ride the ride. The opening did not disappoint -- Johnson's prose is spare for the most part, and lets loose with sci-fi ferocity as needed.

Plot-wise, this feels like three separate books, and I had different levels of engagement with each part. (I won't get spoiler-y here, but if that already feels like more than you want to know, feel free to ba
Brian Keene
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
Easily Johnson's best work yet. Beautiful, sly prose and a story that transcends genre labels (science-fiction, bizarro, crime, etc). Loved it! ...more
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Skullcrack City was a VERY nice surprise. I nearly DNF'd @10% it due to the "hipster" type narrative. I spent two years on my last job listening to hipster bullshit, and it almost drove me crazy. I stuck with it, and realized there was more than just a fire hose blast of pop culture and pseudo science references, as I fully expected. There was actually a story here, and it was damn good! Not only that, but the narrative actually grew on me, and I actually wound up really liking the protagonists! ...more
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jeremy Robert Johnson puts together one crazy mo-fo in this sci-fi/bizarro/fuck-knows-what-else mash-up. A drug fueled psycho-delic dick breaking dream world of corporate espionage. Killer jacked-up mutant-mouthed Popeye-jawed gorilla-armed man-things. Reality teetering on the precipice of an endless void and a turtle named Deckard that silently scorns while Shenanigans jerks it raw in a Hex addled fugue. Solid 4+ Stars!

This is some serious cosmic serendipity manifested consciousness shit.

Benoit Lelièvre
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm very aware that SKULLCRACK CITY was written (in part) to challenge the notion of description, but I'll do my best: It's like a proto-cyberpunk, full-blown paranoid Philip K. Dick was inspired by conspiracy theories discussed on The Joe Roan Experience if Joe, Brian and CoCo Diaz were stoned out of their mind on mushrooms. Does that give you a good idea of what SKULLCRACK CITY is? No? I tried my best.

The facts that this novel 1) exists 2) has been published and 3) is actually good, are very s
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Science-Fiction/Horror Thriller enthusiasts
Recommended to Still by: various Goodreads friends

Outstanding gonzo science-fiction/horror novel which dances to an apocalypse-o number of brain eating mutants, drug enthusiasts taking it all the way to the maximum utmost edge of oblivion and beyond.

I was amazed by the author’s ability to juggle elements right out of Edward Abbey’s THE MONKEY WRENCH GANG, Robert Shea + Robert Anton Wilson’s THE ILLUMINATUS trilogy, elements of William S. Burroughs’ THE SOFT MACHINE and NAKED LUNCH and “your favorite Philip K. Dick story or novel here”.

It’s at t
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it
I picked up Skullcrack City by Jeremy Robert Johnson because it had stead buzz for over a year and also wound up winning the Wonderland Book of the Year award (The top honor in the Bizarro fiction genre.) I understand why this book is so highly regarded. It is a thriller, a noir, a medical drama, a cyberpunk junkie crime story and more. It is all masterfully orchestrated into a single book by the authors gifted hands.

Skullcrack City is not the type of book I would normally seek out. As I stated
Since I lack the cognitive ability to adequately review this book, I will say this: I wish I was as cool as this book...I wish everyone I know would read this book.
Enough wishes, I have made my point, I hope.
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I still have PTSD from the day I drank three pots of coffee and read this in one sitting.
Hatchet Mouth
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Jeremy Robert Johnson is a Disinfo agent. He wants us all to accept that the world of the Vakhtang, Face-rec masks, the mission, primates with expanding jaws, super-stimulant Hex, scarab beetles that pierce chests in order to remove GPS trackers in the afterlife, Buddy with his brain in a box is just a work of fiction. So I will write a review about this work of fiction and proceed as if it's something other than the stone cold, hard won truth of our shambling Frankenstein's Monster we call Real ...more
David Agranoff
Let me get this out of the way. I am bias as hell about this book. When I first moved to Portland I lived a few blocks away from Jeremy. Even when I moved to a different neighborhood it was along the same Powell ave. and I often saw Jeremy out for run. So I root for the guy. Look we are close to the same age and got into horror and punk rock in similar ways in different small towns in different states. I consider watching Prince of Darkness on the big screen at the Lovecraft fest with him to be ...more
Levi Walls
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars!!Loved it!

Every Goodreads update I show had a 😲 or a 😂 in it. I leave you with my favorite thought since saying anything about the book is a spoiler and you can't describe it anyway. Biiiitch read it and you'll see what I mean 😜

This shit is bananas! If you take Fight Club's edge and social commentary and mix that with the mind bending "what the shit?" of The Matrix, and then mix that with Game of Thrones and shit, theeeeen you might have an idea of what the fuck is going on right now.
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bizarro
Skullcrack City by Jeremy Robert Johnson is one of the wildest books I have read in a while and if it tends to run away from itself occasionally due to the wildly fantastic and manic ideas, it is still a lot of fun for your brain. The influences in this novel are many; I saw a little Hunter S. Thompson having lunch with William S. Burroughs due to the beginning with the obsession on drug-induced paranoia, lots of Phillip K. Dick, some clear body horror a la David Cronenberg...I think I even saw ...more
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-books, read-2017
4.5 Stars

Skullcrack City by Jeremy Robert Johnson is an awesome example of how Damn good and how really fun the bizzaro fiction genre can be. It is rare that one book wins me as an instant fan, but Skullcrack City did that for me. I will seek out the rest of Johnson's works in the near future.

This is a drug addled action fest filled with insane science fiction, horror, and fantasy elements. This book will definitely appeal to those like me that worship John Dies at the End. Hex is the drug in
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: weird, splendicity
In many ways, Skullcrack City reminds me of this.


"Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where? Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do? Eleven. Exactly. One louder."
- Nigel Tufnel (This is Spinal Tap)

This is how I feel about this book. Having read an
Tyler Spragg
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Holy shit. I can't talk about most of the book without feeling I've ruined some portion of the ride.

S.P. Doyle is a bank employee, using a powerful drug called Hex to hopefully aid a current investigation. In many ways, it seems the drugs have the upper hand. Shortly after his descent back into the darkness of Hex, Doyle makes a ballsy move at work, and then things get really weird.

Jeremy Robert Johnson has created a story that takes off at an insane speed, and in directions you couldn't believe
Jonathan Raab
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book made my brain explode. Corporate conspiracies, cult street gangs, and competing cosmic conspiracies. READ IT
Dec 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
Pressed on for about a third of it. Ohh the drudgery.
This book has put me off reading. I haven't been able to read for about two months now.
Not my thing.
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: JRJ fans
It's been five years since I read We Live Inside You, JRJ's second collection of short stories. I'd forgotten how much he can get under your skin—I won't go any further with that metaphor. He has this wonderful ability to get you to care about his characters (with exceptions of course), be silent witness to their suffering, and re-assure them that they're still human no matter what.

One could say that Skullcrack City is an outgrowth of "The League of Zeroes," the opening short story in JRJ's fir
Apr 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
FUCK! I'd written like two pages about this book and it just got magically deleted before I could send it. It happens to me on Goodreads about once a year for some reason. Anyway, super super weird, nihilistic book, plot ebbs and flows too much, the writing a little too wink wink nudge nudge for me, but the ending is one of the best I can remember reading in the past few years, totally, TOTALLY fucking dark. And lots of cool lines:

"No one chooses to become a banker. It just happens, like cancer,
David Keaton
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Killer voice. Infectious energy. Subversive humor. Anger slash bemusement. Dozens of lines are unforgettable. All this and a bag of chips. The freaky dead-end banker stuff reads like if The Pale King was actually exciting. Essentially a crash-course in contemporary genre-smashing, as the elements of traditional storytelling, character, conflict, dialogue, plot, and mood - with an extra dose of weird and a hard-R Phil Dick sensibility - are also effective enough to push it into instant classic te ...more
Mar 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well, I liked it very much, just not as much as I expected. It seems difficult to mantain such a campaign of shock and awe as the first 100 pages through the novel lenght, or maybe some of the novelty of his short fiction gets lost here in standard urban fantasy plot devices (with some punk edges an twists for sure).

Anyway: frantic and highly recommended.
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was fantastic. Finished in 2.5 days which for me is very fast. I really don't even know how to describe this work. Its like sci-fi/speculative fiction but with some ideas that could have been conceived during an acid trip. I could not put this down. I was excited to read this and was not let down at all. Five Stars. ...more
Sep 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
Not my thing. Did enjoy the couple of laughs so far but I'm not into the whole Naked Lunch vibe. ...more
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
I got this book because it was supposed to be in a similar vein as John Dies at the End, and was even endorsed by David Wong. For the first 2/3 or so, it felt like that kind of book. although the writing paled in comparison, and while it had occasional LOL moments, the humor was more often mildly amusing than outright hilarious. Unfortunately, in roughly the last third of the book, the story took a major turn towards being seriously, fairly nihilistically, depressing, almost feeling like two dif ...more
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